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Obsessed

Original Air Date: September 30, 1991
Episode #128


It's night at MacGyver's loft apartment, and Mac is sleeping on his back on the sofa. A shadow moves past the window. Mac tosses a bit in his sleep as a gloved hand opens the front door. A black-clad figure enters, carrying an ax. The man walks over and silently creeps along the sofa toward Mac's head. Murdoc raises the ax high with both hands, and asks in a strained tone, "Going all to pieces, MacGyver?" Mac's eyes open, and he rolls quickly out of the way, into the floor, as Murdoc brings the ax down, planting it in the sofa cushion.

Mac wakes with a start, breathing heavily. He's alone. He checks the sofa cushion, and it is unharmed. He relaxes a bit, relieved that it was just a dream. He hoists himself up to sit on the sofa and turns on the lamp on the table beside him, still trying to catch his breath. The phone rings, and Mac cautiously reaches for it. When he says hello, there's laughter on the other end and Murdoc's voice wishes him pleasant dreams. Mac angrily slams the phone down.

The next day at the Phoenix Foundation, a woman with shoulder length, dark brown hair is in Pete's office, talking about someone's recurring nightmares, attention lapses, and delusions. Pete reads the report - with the aid of modern technology - and sees that those are symptoms of job-related stress. The woman seems pleased that Pete has seen her point as Mac knocks on the office door. Pete introduces Mac to Cindy Finnegan, the new manager of field operations. Mac greets her, and Pete adds that he's been reading Dr. Darnell's psychological fitness assessment of Mac. The doctor is worried about him, and Pete is too. Mac dismisses it as nothing a good night's sleep wouldn't take care of - if he could get one. Cindy says that according to his file his behavior has become "most alarming" since the death of Murdoc. Pete explains that since Cindy is new to the foundation, she doesn't know Mac, and she didn't know Murdoc or she'd understand the concern. Cindy counters that Murdoc is dead; his body was found at the bottom of the mineshaft. Mac recalls that there wasn't much of a body left to identify. Cindy says that the FBI and Interpol were convinced - why can't he be? Mac replies hotly that every time he thinks Murdoc is dead, he comes back. Cindy quickly declares that he's obsessed.

Pete intercedes, saying that Dr. Darnell is concerned that Mac is headed for burnout. Mac insists that he's okay, but Cindy snaps that "okay isn't good enough." The Foundation is covering security for Pablo Delasora's trial, and they can't afford to have the operative in charge preoccupied with ghosts. Mac informs her confidently that security is all in place. Cindy says to Pete that she is sure that the chairman of the board would want her to double check. Pete begins to defend Mac, but Mac insists she check it out. Cindy agrees, saying that she'll drive, but Mac points out that her car hasn't been cleared through security - he'll drive.

Outside the courthouse, Mac parks his Jeep, and he and Cindy inspect the grounds. Mac rattles off various details and Cindy checks them off of her list. Everything seems under control until they arrive at the building's entrance to find a large crowd of reporters waiting for Delasora's arrival. They enter the crowd; Mac approaches a tall Caucasian man and a Hispanic woman. Mac reminds the man that they had agreed the press was to be minimal, but the man replies that Delasora's lawyer wanted full media coverage. Mac begins to introduce the man to Cindy, but having read his file, she knows that he is Bob Stryke from the federal prosecutor's office. Stryke introduces them to Marietta Robles, who is helping coordinate evidence for the trial.

A van accompanied by police cars arrives, and guards help the shackled Delasora out. As they approach the crowd Marietta observes that he has gained weight from prison food while the country he looted is starving. She declares that even stripped of his power he is a monster. Delasora pauses to address the crowd of reporters, telling them that he was kidnapped from his country to stand trial on bogus charges. As Delasora talks, MacGyver sees Murdoc in the crowd; Murdoc loads a dart into a device that looks like a camera. Mac shouts, "Look out!" as Murdoc fires. Delasora and the guards duck, and Mac charges into the crowd. Brushing past a sea of faces, he tackles a man, knocking him to the ground. Mac raises a fist to punch him, but it isn't Murdoc. Mac apologizes, as Stryke, Marietta and Cindy run over, asking him what he's doing. Mac tells them, Murdoc was there.

On the phone, Cindy fills Pete in on what happened. He asks where Mac is, and Cindy sarcastically replies, "Looking for ghosts." Nearby, Mac questions one of the reporters who was near Murdoc, but the man doesn't remember seeing him. Stryke walks up, announcing that they have found no trace of a dart. Cindy joins them; handing Mac the phone, she tells him that she's already given Pete a full briefing. Before Mac can explain, Pete says that they don't need any more controversy over the Phoenix Foundation handling the security for the trial. Mac points out that if Murdoc is after Delasora, they have bigger problems than the Foundation's image. Pete says that Murdoc is dead, and Mac objects a bit too forcefully. Trying to calm down, Mac says that he doesn't know how, but Murdoc is alive. Pete says that the doctor is right, that Mac needs a rest. Pete adds that he is certain that Cindy is there to evaluate his performance; she's already turned in a report about Mac's obsession. Neither of them have any credibility. Pete implores Mac to "drop the Murdoc thing."

At Mac's loft, as Mac works to connect a device to his phone, a radio news reporter tells of an "overzealous" member of the Phoenix Foundation attacking a reporter at Delasora's trial. Elsewhere, Murdoc drops something into a metal tube and caps it. He challenges Mac to come and get him. Later at Mac's the phone rings. He picks it up, and Murdoc asks if he's starting to see ghosts. Mac asks what kind of game he's playing, but Murdoc replies that dead men don't play games. He says that he's going to make Mac wish he'd never killed him. Murdoc hangs up with a laugh. Mac checks the device connected to his phone - it displays the number that Murdoc was calling from.

The next morning, Mac sits at the computer, scrolling through a directory of phone numbers. Tired, he rubs his eyes, but a glance at the screen reveals an address for the number that called.

He parks his jeep outside an old warehouse, the address he was looking for. Looking around, he tries the door, and it opens. He cautiously enters. Inside, he finds a room filled with various items: shelves, tubing, old fans - and plastique explosives. He sees a file nearby, which contains articles about the Phoenix Foundation covering Delasora's trial. The file also contains pictures of Stryke, Delasora and Mac, taken at the press conference. Across the room, Mac sees a picture of Marietta on the wall with a dart protruding from it.

Marietta is in a parking garage; she goes to her car and is about to unlock the door when Mac's Jeep comes screeching to a halt. Running over, he pulls her away from the car and he steps over to inspect it. Kneeling, he looks underneath to find the metal tube duct-taped to a pipe. Mac cuts the tape and carefully removes the tube. Hearing something loose inside, he cautiously opens it, dumping the contents. It's a pawn: Mac realizes that Murdoc is telling him that he's been used, and it was taped to Marietta's car to throw him off. Mac hurries to find a phone.

Across town at the Biltmore Hotel, Murdoc is disguised as a hotel employee, and he wheels a cart of food to the door of Delasora's suite, where a guard inspects the contents and allows him to enter. The guard inside calls to Delasora that the food has arrived; Murdoc wishes them bon appétit and leaves, flashing the guard outside the room a friendly smile as he passes. Cindy walks by Murdoc to the room next to Delasora's, where the others have set up desks to conduct business. One of the phones rings; Stryke answers, and Mac orders them to get Delasora out of there because Murdoc could be in the hotel. They hang up, and Stryke tells Cindy that they need to evacuate. When he explains that Mac insists that Murdoc is after Delasora, Cindy isn't thrilled. She starts for the suite, grumbling that if she ever hears the name Murdoc again . . . but as she steps into the hall, an explosion inside Delasora's room blows the door off. Cindy is unhurt, but she stares at the damage, shocked.

Later, at the Phoenix Foundation, Pete is on the phone with the chairman of the board, explaining that they lost one man in the explosion, but Delasora was in another room when the bomb went off, so he was unharmed. When Pete starts to say that they *are* staying on top of the situation, the chairman hangs up on him. Mac muses aloud that it isn't like Murdoc to miss twice. Cindy says that she sent a team to the address Mac gave her, and they found only an empty room. Mac replies that Murdoc obviously cleaned it out. Cindy condescendingly tells him to give his paranoia a rest; he retorts by asking who she thinks planted the bomb. She says that they should look for suspects who are among the living.

At this point, Stryke enters Pete's office: he's spoken with his office in DC, and the Phoenix Foundation is off the case. Pete objects to this decision, but Stryke firmly tells him that there has already been too much heat over putting a private organization in charge of security for the trial. Mac says that with Murdoc after Delasora, they're going to need help. Stryke explains that they're reactivating an old military base outside of town, and that Delasora "will be safe there - even from dead men." Stryke leaves with Marietta. Cindy asks if Mac is satisfied; he stands and angrily says that if she'd drop the attitude, she'd see that he just might be right about this. Turning to Pete, Cindy demands to know if he's going to let Mac continue to turn the foundation into a laughingstock. After a pause, Pete says quietly that he's not. Mac says, surprised, "Pete . . .?" Pete says that he can't let his personal feelings override his better judgment any longer: Mac is no longer working for the Phoenix Foundation. With a note of bitterness in his voice, Mac says, "Good management decision, Pete." He leaves, as Cindy looks rather smugly at Pete.

At Mac's loft, Mac reads a map as he listens to the radio news reporter talking about the bombing: according to the report, Delasora thinks that the bomb was planted by terrorists from the new government of his former country, El Santori. There's a knock at Mac's door, and without looking, Mac calls, "Come on in, Pete." Pete enters, lightly complaining that the taxi driver tried to cheat him. He asks how Mac knew it was him; Mac simply replies that they've been friends a long time. Pete realizes that Mac didn't buy his performance, but Mac says that Cindy bought it and that's what counts. Pete said he had to get her off of their backs - he knows the situation reeks of Murdoc, but Cindy and the chairman are closely watching him. So, he "untied Mac's hands" to investigate, and he suggests that "someone" pay an unannounced visit to the military base where Delasora is being held.

From a hiding place outside the base, Mac observes Delasora moving freely around the compound. Murdoc, dressed as a general, passes by, and he and Delasora pause to give each other a military salute. Mac sees a blue sedan approaching the compound. The car is allowed past the gate; when it stops, armed men in army fatigues pull Marietta out and take her inside the building. Mac moves in for a closer look - he knocks out a guard and steals his fatigues. Sneaking further onto the base, Mac sees a plane-shaped rocket being prepared for launch. The workers clear the area as a test of the rocket is conducted; flames shoot from the rocket washing over the metal launchpad underneath, then the test ends. Trying to blend in, Mac moves closer to the rocket, but seconds later, Stryke appears from a nearby doorway. Mac turns his back, trying to remain unnoticed, but Stryke calls to him that they need help in the command center. Mac acts as if he didn't hear and starts to walk away, but Stryke calls again. Getting no response, he pulls his gun and orders him to turn around. Mac does, and seeing who it is, Stryke sneers, "At ease, MacGyver."

Inside the control room, Delasora tells Marietta that he remembers her from her days with the guerrilla forces. He boasts that he makes it a point to remember all of his enemies; she quips that he must have a very good memory, then she angrily shouts at him in Spanish. He grabs her by the hair, warning her not to upset him or he won't let her live long enough to see the new government of El Santori fall. Murdoc explains that troops loyal to Delasora are planning to attack the capital. Marietta defiantly declares that the people will stop him, but he argues that they will do nothing after the rocket reduces the new government to rubble.

At this point, a guard shoves Mac into the room. Seeing Mac's attire, Murdoc observes that the military look is in - but he has more accessories. Mac deadpans that it's a bit early for Halloween. Murdoc gestures to a nearby guard, who punches Mac in the stomach. Mac doubles over and drops to his knees, and Delasora tells him to show more respect to General Murdoc. "General?" Mac gasps, still recovering from the blow. Murdoc says that it will be official once Delasora is back in power; he explains that HIT decided he was over the hill, and since he had few prospects for employment, he decided to "be all that he could be." Annoyed, Delasora asks if the missile is ready, and Murdoc answers, "On your order." Delasora tells Murdoc to organize a firing squad, so that they can make an example of Marietta and Mac. Murdoc starts off to complete this task, but Mac calls, "Blew it again, eh, Murdoc?" Murdoc stops, asking if that's supposed to be a joke. Mac says that no, Murdoc is the joke: how weak must he be, to need a firing squad to kill Mac after failing so many times himself? Delasora barks for Murdoc to carry out his orders, and Murdoc replies that he'll "shoot the girl" but he wants to find a more inventive way to execute MacGyver.

Outside, the guards, Marietta, and Mac follow Murdoc, who stops beside the rocket. Mac asks Murdoc about the body that everyone thought was his, and Murdoc replies that there was a river under the mineshaft, so he swam out and happened upon a fisherman. Murdoc says that since everyone but Mac thought he was dead, he saw the opportunity to use Mac to discredit the Phoenix Foundation. After complimenting Mac for doing a great job (of discrediting the Foundation), Murdoc instructs the guards to tie Mac under the rocket. They do, while Murdoc explains that when the countdown is over, the jets will ignite and the rocket will deliver a ton of TNT to the presidential palace of El Santori. "And you, MacGyver," Murdoc adds, "Well, you'll be toast." Murdoc flips a switch and the countdown starts at five minutes.

Murdoc leaves with the guards and Marietta, as Mac looks frantically about for an escape. He spies a cart of liquid nitrogen tanks nearby; he carefully removes a shoe and flings it at the cart. The shoe knocks the release lever free, and the cart starts to roll toward him. He sighs with relief, but the cart stops as one of the wheels rolls into a crack in the pavement. He removes his other shoe and, taking it by the laces, manages to loop it around the cart's handle and pull the wheel out of the rut. The cart rolls forward until it bumps into the launchpad, and one of the tanks of liquid nitrogen falls over into Mac's reach. Mac activates the tank, using the nitrogen to freeze the ropes until he can break them. With only seconds to spare, he frees himself and stuffs a nearby tarp into the rocket's air intake valve, then he scrambles to safety as the rocket takes off.

In a field on the other side of the compound, Delasora, Murdoc and Marietta watch the rocket soar into the sky. Delasora barks orders to have the troops attack the capital at 1400 hours, then he orders the execution to proceed. The guards raise their guns, but the rocket overhead explodes after pulling the tarp into its engine. Murdoc says that it must be MacGyver, but Delasora wants them to continue and "kill her." At this point, a truck charges down a hill towards the firing squad, which scatters. Mac rolls by Marietta, picking her up. Murdoc tells Delasora that he knows where they're going. The guards fire as Mac drives off, but Marietta tells him that they have to go back, to use the radio and warn her country of the troops' attack plans.

Outside the command center, Stryke tells Delasora that he wants out. Delasora says that he anticipated that, and Murdoc adds that his money has been placed in his car. Stryke goes to check, but when he opens the briefcase, a dart fires, killing him.

Mac and Marietta reach the control room, but before they can use the radio, Murdoc, Delasora, and a guard arrive. Murdoc taunts Mac for being predictable, always trying to save everyone but himself. Murdoc laughs, asking, "Shall I . . .?" But Delasora says that won't be necessary, and he orders his guard to take Murdoc's gun. Delasora says that he didn't stay in power so long by trusting people like him; he tells the guard to take Murdoc out and shoot him. As they go, Murdoc calls back that it isn't over. Delasora steps toward Marietta and Mac, telling them that his troops will still attack the capital, so their efforts have changed nothing. Hearing two gunshots outside, Delasora turns his head a bit, saying, "That takes care of Murdoc," as Mac stealthily lifts a spray bottle from the garbage. Mac fires a few squirts into the light next to Delasora's head, and the sparks distract Delasora, so that Mac can punch him. Mac tells Marietta to use the radio to call the capital: he's going after Murdoc. Marietta says, "But he's dead!" Mac replies, "I don't think so," and hurries outside.

He finds the guard dead. He hears an engine start and rounds a corner to see Murdoc driving past in a Jeep. Mac manages to jump on the hood. Trying to shake him off, Murdoc twists and turns before driving into a nearby field. Murdoc finally slams on the brakes, and Mac tumbles off. He stands as Murdoc grins and backs up to get a running start; Mac notices that he's on the edge of a very steep cliff. He stands still, staring as Murdoc swiftly approaches, but he quickly jumps out of the way. The Jeep goes over the cliff as Murdoc screams Mac's name. As Mac watches, the vehicle reaches the bottom of the cliff and explodes.

Later, at Mac's loft, the television is on, but Mac is sleeping soundly on the couch. The door opens and Mac sits up with a start. It's Pete. Reaching for the light, Mac asks what time it is. Pete says that he knew Mac would want to hear: Delasora's troops have surrendered and Delasora's trial will start up again next week. Pete adds that Cindy sends her apologies; he thinks she's learned a bit about respecting experience. Mac says that Pete could've told him that over the phone, but he realizes there's something else - they didn't find Murdoc's body. Pete says that doesn't mean anything: the body could've been burned up in the fire, or swept out to sea. The phone rings, and Mac answers it with a wary hello, but he gets no response. He says hello again and hears laughter from an eerily familiar voice. Hanging up, Pete asks if he's "got trouble on the line, or something." Still looking at the phone, Mac agrees, "Yeah. Or something."


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